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To "C" or not to "C"
Not only have I tried to determine exactly how the name "Lachance" is supposed to be spelled (as it was originally), with or without an uppercase "C", but I've always been curious about the "space" between the "La" and the "Chance" that is often found in the US spelling of the name. Sometimes it is there, sometimes it is not. I have always written my name as one complete word, but I haven't always used a lowercase "c".

Some of my research has led me to various original documents. For instance, my Grandfather Antoine (Tony) signed his immigration application "La"c"hance", no uppercase "C". In Sept 2001, I obtained a copy of my fathers birth certificate. On here I found the name spelled "La"c"hance". In his case, I suspect it somehow got changed in Military records upon his enlistment in the Marine Corps.

Perhaps a response I received from Larry Coderre of Canada may help to explain the dilemna.

"In reply to your question about spelling:   In the early parish registers I have seen a large number of the people could not sign their names. By the 1880's and 90's some, but not all, could. As a result, the spelling of a name was left up to the priest, census taker or immigration officer. Often the same priest in the same parish would spell the same name differently from one entry to the next. In the Ottawa-Hull phone book there are just under two hundred (200) Lachances listed. Only those which are spelled entirely in capitals have a capital C. Hull is in the province of Québec and Ottawa (in Ontario) has a large French population. Incidently there are no Desjardins spelled with a capital J either although my wife, Lucille, says that she has seen the name spelled Des Jardins. I AM ONLY GUESSING but perhaps the capital C and the capital J was first used by an American immigration officer".
Jean-Marc Lachance of Canada also wrote:
"Lachance or LaChance? Almost of the French speaking people use Lachance but it is frequent that the people living in US write LaChance. I suppose that it is a deformation introduced by the people living in the US. In English Chance means luck.. All we know is that in the first Act concerning Antoine Pepin (dit Lachance) in New France, in January 1655, he is called Pepin dit Lachance, but we don't know why. He was 18 years old and the Act is about a concession, by Louis d'Ailleboust, concerning pieces of land located in Sillery near Québec and also in Lauzon, in front of Québec, on the South shore of St-Laurence River."
My Choice
As for me, even though my birth certificate has the name spelled, "the American way"...I have decided that it is "correct" or, as it was originally, with a small "c". While visting Québec during the summer of 2001 I decided to take a look at the local (Québec City) telephone book. Not only are there four full pages of Lachances listed, but not one single one has an uppercase "c". Guess this is just my own way of going back to my roots.
Today Is May 27, 2017 - This page was last reviewed or updated 3865 day(s), 21 hours ago.
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